How did Jan 22, 1973 affect you?

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In January 1973 I was a senior at Bishop Canevin high school and filled with the joy and anticipation of being done with high school and the mixed excitement and fear for what was ahead. Prior to January 22, 1973 I wasn’t the least bit aware of what was taking place within the Supreme Court. And when they announced their decision in the Roe vs. Wade case, it never hit my radar.

However, I was fortunate. I had a courageous English teacher who brought it to the attention of our class and then polled the class on our positions on the decision. Sadly at that moment my knee jerk, uninformed position was a reflection of the changing popular values of the late 60’s and early 70’s. On that day, this hormone enraged teenager saw this decision as an enabler of the “unconditional love” pop culture of the “Sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll” times. (Writers note: I am not confessing to sex or drugs but will admit I liked rock ‘n roll). When asked, I saw pregnancy as something like a light switch. It could be on or off and now off rather easily.

Fortunately for me, I didn’t hold this position for very long. Our teacher simply explained the facts of what pregnancy and abortion really are and talked about the physiology and spirituality of life beginning at conception. It was like being hit by a lightning bolt of truth. Just like that, my naive misunderstanding of pregnancy was shattered and my “hall pass” for uncomplicated sex was taken away within one class period.

That day planted a seed. One that would take some time to grow and blossom but one that was firmly planted and through God’s providence and the examples of others was watered and began to grow albeit very slowly.

Although 1973 was a long time ago, I didn’t realize how profound an effect it would have on me. (I’ll skip my personal journey to the present time.) Now in the new millennium I am a “pro life activist”. Beyond the joys of my vocation as husband and father, I find meaning and purpose in my efforts to end abortion and save lives through prayer, witneTim Barrss and counseling outside of an abortion center.

My calling is to witness downtown Saturday mornings year round with my big signs. It started as one day a month, now it is every Saturday. That’s my calling. I’ll admit it’s not always easy. The lure of staying in a warm bed, having another cup of coffee or reading the sports page is always there not to mention the deterrent sometimes of foul weather. Oh well, that’s my calling.Tim selfie


So how did the unleashed evil of Jan. 22, 1973 affect you? Was a seed planted that is ready to grow stronger and taller? Are you being called?

OK, here comes the pitch, if you want to put your faith into action with deeds and get more involved with the pro-life movement here in Western Pennsylvania. There are lots of ways. Here are just a few to mention:

  • If you are not going to the March for Life in Washington come pray downtown either Saturday morning Jan. 21 or 28.
  • Join your churches pro life group (or form one if none exists. We can help.)
  • Participate in the upcoming 40 Days for Life spring campaign March 1- April 9 as either an individual   click HERE or with your church group: Contact Nikki at
  • Get more involved with 40 DFL and become a shift manager by committing to two hours a week for each week of the campaign: we need someone for Sunday 3-5 pm.
  • Use 40 DFL Flyers or bulletin inserts at your church to speed the word about the upcoming campaign. Visit our GET INVOLVED page.
  • Get involved with the Magee Project to end abortions there
  • Pray for the 40 DFL team, and all pro life advocates and for the end of abortion
  • Become a Sidewalk advocate and attend the training seminar (contact us for more info)
  • Stop downtown to pray at the abortion center on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday or Saturday mornings (abortion days) and join others in their witness year round.
  • Send this to a friend and ask them to join you in witnessing to the TRUTH of abortion.

God bless you in your journey and may it bring you peace and joy.

Tim B.

9 thoughts on “How did Jan 22, 1973 affect you?

  • January 22, 2017 at 3:57 pm

    Let us all pray for an end to abortion. God Bless

  • January 22, 2017 at 7:01 pm

    I was born in December of 1973, just 11 months after it became legal for my mother to end my life in her womb. My generation and all those after me are missing countless members…those who would have been siblings, friends, spouses…those who may have learned how to cure cancer or bring peace to a war-torn land. May God have mercy on us for the monstrous evil of abortion, and may He show us the way to make this the final year of legalized murder in our country.

  • January 22, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    I have no memory of Roe v Wade, as I was in the third grade in 1973, and I don’t recall having any thoughts about abortion at all until I was a young adult. I had a vague opinion that it was wrong, and said I would never do it…but it was not something that I thought about much. I am ashamed to admit that all during the ’80’s and ’90’s, while brave Christians were being arrested and jailed during the “rescue” movement, I had no clue any of that was going on. I was busy listening to “big hair” rock and roll music, going to bars and making as big of a mess of my life as I could. It wasn’t until after I gave my life to Christ in 2005, and heard a sermon on the radio by Rev. Dr. John Guest called “Stop the Holocaust”. That sermon broke my heart and began to open my eyes to the horror of abortion.

  • January 22, 2017 at 10:53 pm

    I had graduated high school just 6 months prior and was not thinking about how Roe vs. Wade would affect the country.
    As I’ve grown closer to God, my understanding of God’s unique relationship with every life has grown.
    He is not willing that any should perish.

  • January 23, 2017 at 9:23 am

    Like Tim I graduated from high school in 1973. Northeast Catholic High, Philadelphia. Roe vs. Wade was a discussion we had in religion class but it had little impact. Not until 1986 with the miscarriage of our second child did I understand. Fully formed, at 14 weeks gestation, what we saw changed our hearts and minds and began our pro-life journey. We named him John Paul. 13 pregnancies later, 3 miscarriages, we have 10 children, and I pray those entering PP could experience even a fraction of the joy the Spirit has given us.

  • January 23, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    Thank God for that courageous teacher, Tim! Like the others here so far, I didn’t have a clue. I was a junior in high school then…pure and innocent. Then life happened (a lame excuse). When I left home as a young adult, I was bound and determine to live life ‘my way’. I knew better. As a cradle Catholic I was raised better! But the impressionable weak foolishness of youth claimed me as one of its victims…unfortunately. When I turned from God, what darkness there was. By the pure Grace and infinite Mercy of God and the Power of the Holy Spirit, I was pulled back into the Light of His Presence where I now walk daily. I am staunchly pro-life, pray every single day for an end to abortion (and euthanasia, murder, suicide, terrorism, and capital punishment – for a return to the culture of LIFE, not death), try to witness at PP in downtown Pgh at least a couple times a year with my parish, and I will be in D.C. this Fri for the March for Life.
    St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in this battle! Strengthen me, Lord, to be an even better witness, and bless all who witness now and forever! Amen.

  • January 23, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    When Roe v Wade became law we had just baptized our 9th baby. We were horrified! Wouldn’t somebody stop this from happening? Clergy? Elected Law makers? Medical professionals? Nobody!! Just a few brave souls in Pittsburgh who did what they could, often at great risk. I was not one of them. I would write an occasional letter to the editor, or go on a local march, but it took until babies #10 and 11 were teenage before I dared to go near an abortion mill. Project Multitude, started by a married couple and a pastor, was the catalyst that finally pushed me to make a sign from an empty cereal box, get on a bus, and join hundreds of others at the Mill in downtown Pittsburgh. I never stopped, and Al joined me a few months later.

    This needs to be said: For more than 44 years our country has been under God’s judgement for the sin of abortion. If the new administration is going to turn our country around, and make it great, and good again, all of us”chickens” are going to have to repent publicly for learning to co-exist with one of the greatest evils that the world has ever known. We must repent for all the pro-life things we did not say to people, all the times when we stayed away from the killing centers, etc. We all know what we did and did not do. The sooner we all seriously repent of our part in keeping abortion legal the sooner God will heal our land.

    • January 23, 2017 at 9:03 pm

      Sally I know I have probably told you this before…but you are my hero. Thank you!

  • January 23, 2017 at 6:40 pm

    Thanks Tim and to all who have written thus far. I was a freshman in college. Raised in a pro-life Catholic family- by example. My mom always said God provided for each one of us. My parents were evicted from their apartment with 4 kids before I was born. I am #6 of 7- so they had three more kids after that eviction. I was raised in the house they bought after that episode in their lives. People criticized them for having so many children (in the 50’s). Unfortunately, I didn’t always pay attention to my parents.. especially as a teenager. But,I always felt blessed my parents were older- my mom was 42 when I was born and 44 when my sister (#7) was born so they had real life experience to counter the culture. Abortion would never have been a personal choice. But, I still should have taken a page out of their book and not the lies being perpetrated by the women of the popular culture. I have two wonderful adult children so feeling very fortunate to have them. My father was as involved with us as my mom. And every grandchild that came along was very special to them so I had their witness as I matured and smartened up! One of the last conversations I had with my dad was about my niece’s pregnancy. He asked when I was having a baby. It took a few more years to have my daughter- neither parent met my kids this side of heaven.
    1973- the ripple effects of that decision…when you stand on the sidewalk as a counselor you can feel the pain of the women and men who have chosen abortion instead of hope for the future. Let us pray that there will be a turning point this year. Children are our future- isn’t there a song to that tune?


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